Monday, July 6, 2009

Walk with me on this path

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Many already know it and others have never heard of it.

I'm talking about the Simple Life path, the one where I learn to make do with what I have and strive to lead a good simple almost self sufficient life.

I feel the calling, pulling me back to my roots, that longing for a more traditional homemaking, making things from scratch, needlework, gardening and so forth.

But I find myself a little overwhelmed, oh there are plenty of blogs that I visit and get good ideas from but it's quite a different thing when you read and actually try to implement it into your own life.

I guess this is where you come in, I know a lot of you already lead a Simple Life, you have your own homesteads and you raise chickens and bake bread and sew etc.

I think there is nothing more exciting than seeing the fruits of your own labor, cooking that meal for your family, baking your own pies, knitting or quilting that special item that you can one day pass on to your children.

I'm hoping that by opening myself up to you all, I will get a lot of helpful information, you have no idea how much I want to learn, so if you know how to make ice cream or cross stitch, if you have stories about milking cows or gathering eggs, won't you share them with me and the other readers?

See I was sitting in bed the other day and thinking about the joys of making something with your bare hands and how wonderful it is to give handmade gifts, to know that you are creating an heirloom.

I feel like I have the prairie girl spirit in me and no matter where I am or how far from the country I live, I think it's something that will always stay in me, there's this connection, this joy that I feel when I'm sticking my hands into a big bowl of dough, it's like for that brief moment I'm a Pioneer woman, back in the day.

Oh I'm sure by now some of you may think I've done lost my mind but I can't help the way I feel.

So what I'm asking for is ideas, advice, how-to's, you can even just drop me some links and I'll go wander on over by myself, what do you say?

It might actually become fun if we teach each other and learn together.

I guess my first contribution will be to show you a neat trick I use for Dryer Sheets. Store bought I way too expensive for me and I can't quite bring myself to spend $5 for a little box, so I use my own.

All you need is a tupperware bowl or even an empty butter container, fill with half water and half laundry softener, then grab a washcloth and drop it in there, when you are ready to use it, pull it out, wring it and toss it in with your laundry.

When done, just toss it back in the bowl and cover it.

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Now I'm off to enjoy a cup of hot tea and some fresh warm out of the oven Snickerdoodles.

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26 comments:

Mistress said...

Sandra,

If you can knit and sew you can cross stitch. It is very easy and fun. You make little "x's", hence the cross stitch.

I can not wait until my kids are older so I have time to learn and do things... Well maybe not but you understand.

Good luck!!!!

JAMIE ANN said...

THANKS FOR THAT NOTE. I SURE DONT THINK YOU ARE LOOSING YOUR MIND. I WILL SHARE A LITTLE SOMETHING WITHYOU. I AM FROM DETROIT MICHIGAN. GREW UP INNER CITY. I MET MY HUSBAND 11 YEARS AGO AND MOVED TO THE COUNTRY. I HAD ALWAYS DREAMED OF BEING A FARMERS WIFE COLLECTING EGGS WITH A DRESS AND APRON ON. WELL I AM THERE NOW. WELL TO A POINT. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE ON A DAIRY FARM. MY HUSBAND WAS RAISED ON ONE. I LOVE EVERY MIN OF IT. MY MOTHER IN LAW HAS TOUGHT ME SO MUCH AND I HAVE SOAKED IT ALL IN. I NOW MAKE CHEESE, BUTTER, BREAD, AND SO MANY MORE THINGS. I CAN ALL SUMMER LONG AND DID MY FIRST GARDEN THIS YEAR. WE MILK 2 TIMES A DAY. WE NOW HAVE 2 HOGS AND I HAD CHICKENS TILL THE WEASLES GOT THEM. I WILL GET MORE CHICKENS. I LOVE SHARING WHAT I KNOW AND I LOVE LEARNING. SORRY THIS IS SO LONG. I WILL CUT OFF FOR NOW. I TRY TO BLOG MY LIFE EVERYDAY. ALSO I MAKE MY OWN LAUNDRY SOAP..ONLY COST 39CENT A GALLON. THANKS FOR YOUR BLOG AND I WILL BE KEEPING UP.
NEW BLOGGY FRIEND,
JAMIE

Sarah said...

I can totally understand how you are feeling. I am really trying to simplify life and to make/create as much as possible. We are still fairly early in the process, too. We have planted a big vegetable garden, I make my own butter (but in my Kitchenaide, does that count?), do preserves and knit and quilt. One of my goals is to have everyone in my family sleeping under a quilt that I have made. You are right, the blog world is full of wonderful ideas...it's just putting it all together that can be challenging.

Lori said...

Sandra, your post really touched me. My husband and I live on a 55 acre farm in TN. We have cows, chickens, huge gardens, etc... Simplicity doesn't necessarily mean all of that (though I love it dearly). Simplicity is just that...simplifying your life...getting out all the extra riff-raff that complicates things and like you said, getting back to basics. It just thrills me to read about your desire for using your own hands to work and make things, whether you live in downtown NY or in rural TN. Continue to read good blogs with helpful info, get books from the library, and follow that good desire to *make things*. Talk to older folks...most of whom are thrilled to share with you. Personally I think it's a God-given thing within the heart of women to do what you're talking about. I think it's all part of loving your family and desiring to take care of them and provide the best you can for them...homemade bread included!! :) Reminds me of Proverbs 31:13 "...she worketh willingly with her hands." :)
Your dryer sheet tip was great. Simplicity starts with one little step. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all in one day! But I encourage you to do little things as you can!!
have a great day...sorry this was so long! :) Got a little carried away I guess.

Tina Leigh said...

Good post! I think it is different for everyone, the simple life. I think too many people try to keep up with the JONES. My simple life is just being out here in the "Sticks" where it is quiet. We eat good & we do a lot of hunting & fishing...eating the meat we get which is way better for you than what we buy in the store.

Annette said...

Thank you for sharing the dryer sheet tip. I am sooooo going to do this. I wince everytime I buy a box of those darn things! I also wanted to tell you that I started my crochet bag and am really enjoying working on it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Annette

mindingmomma said...

I'm anxious to hear what you will share with us about this. And those cookies look delicious!

Leigh said...

I can't wait to see the ideas!

Jen said...

Great post Sandra. You know I can and cook alot. But what has made me enjoy simply life is the gardening. I love to have an old fashion garden in the back. I realize you live in the wild west...lol....but you can container garden....

Lara Gisela said...

Hi Sandra,
I really understand you and I feel the same but as I live in an apartment, in the suburbs of Lisbon, there are some things I cannot do. But there are other ways to live a simple life, even if you don't live in the countryside. Thanks for your tip.

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh girl we are kindred spirits. I love the country life too. I am halfway there. We have the garden. We are talking about chickens and have the coop plans. I know what you mean about baking and making things from scratch. I miss that. Enjoy doing those things now. Enjoy your family and just keep on doing what your doing. Your so smart to ask advice from your sisters. That is Titus 2 in action. We'll all help each other and become closer to God by being servants to one another.
Have a Blessed Week.
Hugs,
Sherry

Mari said...

I think you do have a lot of prairie girl in you and i think that's awesome! Thanks for the tip on the dryer sheets!

Donnetta said...

Ah, a simple life. Striving more and more to stop the chaotic busyness and slow the crazy feeling of this thing called life just a bit.

Question: Would you mind sharing when you add the laundry detergent soaked cloth? Washer, dryer, both? I'd like to give it a try. Thanks!

Jackie said...

I enjoyed your post so much today. 2 years ago we moved to a big city for my husbands job. I am a country girl at heart and so this has been different for me. I find that living a simple life "fits" me. I rarely turn on the TV during the day and I enjoy the quiet sounds around our house. I have a small garden and am enjoying watching it grow.
Thanks for sharing your heart in this post...I certainly understand!

autumnesf said...

I'm with you for sure. And cross stitch is one of those things that you can literally pick up a book at the library and learn all by yourself. It's really that easy. I taught myself that way and I'm not a directions kind of girl.

I will say that being a military dependent does somewhat limit what we can get into. Base housing is not very garden friendly and chickens are a big no.

I'm currently teaching myself easy quilting and at our next assignment next month I want to learn how to make all natural soap since we have so many skin issues in our house.

Jen said...

I grew up on a farm and really miss it. I try to bring much of my childhood on the farm here to our home. We have almost an acre of land and will be getting a couple of goats and chickens soon. We also have 2 gardens. I will be making cheese and hopefully yogurt. It is great to read about things but I have found for me I can read and read but really do not learn how until I actually do it myself. No matter what you choose to start doing I know you will succeed!! A great website is www.hobbyfarms.com They also have a great magazine.

Christina said...

Great post and right up my alley. I think you do so many things, cooking, crocheting, reading, baking that you are already really good at living a simple life like back in the day, but I am anxious to hear what others have to say. I also love reading about those days and find many idea and book requests on your blog about those days. Thanks for this post and like you I am going to read the others ideas too. I love the fabric softener idea and am definitely steeling this one. Thank you, I will bet this one will save me some money.

Wendi said...

Love the dryer sheet tip! As soon as I run out of store bought sheets I am going to try this.

I don't think you have lost your mind at all! I find so much pleasure in seeing my home canned goods all lined up. Tasting fresh bread that I have made. Knowing exactly what is in it.

I hope you keep posting about your journey to a simple life.

Heart2Heart said...

Love the idea of the snickerdoodle cookies by the light of a lamp. Something just makes me feel all warm and homey inside. I think I need a glass of milk.

I think in this economy we are all wanting to go back to traditional things and doing things by hand. It slows our lives down and makes us appreciate life a little bit more.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Renee said...

Wonderful post! Great tip on the dryer sheets too.

Lulu said...

love this post..
seems life is so fast, no one takes the time for the simple anymore..
cant wait to hear more about this topic Sandra..
hugs,

YayaOrchid said...

One other use for all those fabrics scraps we hate to throw away. Save them, if they're big enough to tear into strips, you can crochet a rug in any size you want. There are a few patterns online. Some people braid the strips, I think crochet is so much easier.

Nicole said...

You are so right. We need to slow down and live more simply. However, I'll keep my dish washer! :D One thing I do to relax is iron. There is something about the warmth coming from the iron that is soothing and for some reason every time I iron my mind wanders and I literally go into a trance like state. I love it.
So my best tip is homemade laundry detergent. Check out my post about it.

http://thechroniclesofnicole.blogspot.com/2009/04/homemade-laundry-detergent.html

Jena said...

I hadn't necessarily thought of it as the 'Simple Life', but I do hate for things to disappear. Years ago women did so much (they were full of talent - because of necessity maybe?). It seems that a lot of women my age (I'm in my late 30's) don't want to learn anything new (they just want to go buy it). I crochet, cross-stitch, sew and I am teaching myself how to knit, I cook (from scratch more than most people I know, but not as much as I would like). I also want to learn how to quilt (like my grandmother's did) - I WILL learn someday. I put more value (I'm very sentimental) on homemade items or items passed down from past generations than on store bought items. You can check out one of my posts here... http://craftymomof4boys.blogspot.com/2009/07/boy-stuff.html I love what you are saying and I feel the same way.

Kelli said...

Hey, Sandra, how are you? I don't comment often but I read your blog almost every day! I am with you on the simpler life, it seems we're so caught up in technology and gadgets and TV that it's harder to find time for the simpler things in life. And as for me, I love to quilt, sew pajamas, etc. for my boys and embroider, cross stitch, paint, garden, you name it. And camping is what we do as a family, partly so we can go places we couldln't afford otherwise, but in our trailer, we cook our own food, etc. and don't have to go out when we're on vacation. I love camping in the state parks, and yes, I do love the air conditioning, but I love it more than staying in a hotel and flying places! And car trips are fun, too, there's so much to see! I'm anxious to make my own soap and I do make my own laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets like you said. Thanks for putting into words what I always think!

Michele said...

What a wonderful post, Sandra!
I have found that "living the simple life" means different things to different people.
I do what I can, but being a single lady I do have to spend all day at work. I'd love to be able to stay home and cook, sew, crochet, cross stitch, paint, clean... all of it! I do keep things as simple as I can though. I do hang out my laundry when the weather allows, use candle light as much as possible, bake and cook from scratch as often as I can, and make my own butter and bread. I choose to read over TV or computer time, and my evenings (spring -fall anyways) are not complete without at least 20 minutes of quiet time on the front porch just watching the world go 'round.
I would love to learn how to spin fiber into yarn, then use that for a crochet project (or knit, when I finally get THAT down!)
I'm always eager to see what your next project will be! Your blog is one of the few that I read daily. Thanks for sharing your life with us.